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Predator 2 -- Two thumbs up even without Arnie's muscles

PREDATOR 2

Directed by Stephen Hopkins.

Starring Danny Glover and Gary Busey.

Opens tomorrow.

By EMIL DABORA

and SHAWN MASTRIAN

PREDATOR 2 is a biting social allegory, deep with imagery and full of symbolism. The construction of this movie's Aristotelian plot was so scintillating that The Tech had to send its two best reviewers, Dabora and Mastrian, to review the picture. We now present Emil and Shawn Searching for the Movies.

Emil: The movie definitely gets a thumbs up. It provides a release for any potential pent-up emotional hostility. This sequel is in keeping with the violent nature of the original film, Predator. One complaint though: Danny Glover, the lead good guy, is no Arnold Schwarzenegger; he plays the role with depth of character, and authority, but he just does not command the respect of Arnie.

Shawn: I would fully agree with the thumbs up, and that Glover is no Schwarzenegger. Yet I would have to say that as the hero, Glover provides a more intelligent character, even if his muscles and one-liners are not Schwarzeneggerian.

E: The opening is slightly disappointing. It begins in 1997 in drug-infested Los Angeles. The Cuban drug lords are fighting the local police with rather sophisticated machinery. It seems slightly unrealistic that the bad guys have so much more heavy fire power than the ever-taxing authorities. Melodramatically, Detective-Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) breaks through the enemy line and saves the day. But what he does not realize is that he is being watched.

S: At the end of this scene, we meet Federal Agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey). The producers want us to instantly hate him, so when he bites it later on, we don't get upset. As an arschhoch, Busey is excellent, yet his doomed fate is all too obvious. I think that the movie sort of stumbles forward for the first couple of minutes, but be patient -- it gets better.

E: The Fed is like so many characters in this type of drama; he is the guy on the side of good that only gets in the way by underestimating the abilities of the protagonist. The audience cheers as Harrigan outwits him.

The monster (Kevin Peter Hall) at the start of the film is rather ambiguous in his choice of siding with good or evil. He begins by killing many of the drug dealers, but we soon find out his motive for doing so -- to draw out Harrigan.

S: I don't think there is much ambiguity in the predator at all. Basically, he kills anything that he thinks is worth killing. This, coupled with Harrigan's moment of revelation in the taxidermist's window (where his face reflects among the hunted game), makes a statement about the human manipulation of the animal kingdom. Thankfully, this little bit of morality does not diminish the violent nature of the film.

E: I find the hunter-hunted issue of this film fascinating. We get the feeling that Mr. Predator could ice the detective-lieutenant at any time with his high technology weapons, but chooses not to. Instead, he wants to fight fairly, though

he always maintains an advantage. This seems to be a contradiction in ideology -- does he want a fair fight or not?

S: Of course he doesn't want it to be too fair; nevertheless, the code of honor is upheld in the end.

I think the strongest point of this film is the weaponry which the predator carries. Suffice it to say, never play frisbee with this boy.

E: Another asset to this film's all-star cast is the appearance of Morton Downey Jr. (in his motion-picture debut), who plays the role of Pope, an annoying trash-television character that seems indistinguishable from his talk show personality.

S: Mort is definitely studly. The abuse he takes from Harrigan and Jerry Lambert (Bill Paxton) provides good bits of comic relief. The relationship between Lambert and Leona Cantrell (Maria Conchita Alonzo) is one of the stronger points of the movie.

E: The ending is very good, though I won't say any more than I liked it. I advise you make Predator 2 part of your Thanksgiving celebration.

S: Definitely a solid movie. Go see it after the Survivor Series is over this Thanksgiving. After all, with the long weekend, we'll all have a few days to kill.